What wonderful wildlife was spotted in March?

With brighter days and lighter nights, the month of March marks the beginning of spring, and this welcome seasonal change has seen Brockholes burst into life. From fascinating plant life to breeding birds, spring is a time of rapid change within nature.
Barn owl

Dave Bennion

To start the month of March a resplendent barn owl was observed hovering above the reserve. Barn owls with their distinctive heart shaped face and delicate white feathers are easy to identify, however you have to have a keen eye as they tend to hunt at dawn and dusk, and with their ghostly silent flight they make little to no noise. In direct contrast and on the other end of the noise spectrum, a mediterranean gull was heard loudly calling over the car park. These delightful birds don’t only liven things up with their noisy antics, they also add a splash of colour with their vibrant red legs protruding from their pristine plumage. 

Kestrel

Trevor James Southward 

Continuing with another of our imposing visitors, a female kestrel was viewed hunting over Number One Pit. Brockholes wide expanse of grassland provides the perfect habitat for these marvellous birds, and they can regularly be seen soaring over the extremities of the reserve on the lookout for food. The wonderfully gregarious sand martins have also been observed with regularity, and hopefully they will begin to take advantage of our newly refurbished sand martin boxes.  

Finally, to end March we had some monumentally impressive sightings reported at Brockholes. Firstly, a female Common Scoter was seen wading on Meadow Lake, this beautiful sea duck is highly uncommon and is classified as a bird of conservation concern in the UK. Lastly, Brockholes recorded a fabulous first, as our resident bird expert Bill Aspin reported the sighting of two common cranes flying over the reserve on Sunday 21st March. 

Here is a selection of just some of the wildlife sightings recorded this month: 

  • Robin 
  • Blue tit 
  • Heron
  • Long tailed tit 
  • Great crested grebe 
  • Golden eye 
  • Mute swan
  • Chaffinch 
  • Oystercatcher 
  • Nuthatch
  • Redshank
  • Reed bunting 
  • Coal tit 
  • Roe deer 
  • Bank vole